Revealed: Who Is Inspector Sands?

By M@ Last edited 61 months ago
Revealed: Who Is Inspector Sands?

"Inspector Sands, Please Report to the Operations Room Immediately".

It's an announcement that most of us will have heard on the London Underground, or mainline stations. Common wisdom has it that this stentorian command is a code, designed to alert authorities to a potential calamity or emergency without alarming the public.

Stephen Wood knows better. In the artistic interpretation above, he imagines the Inspector as a real entity, reporting for duty at some recondite Operations Room, deep underground. The eerie Victorian official comes complete with top hat and ticket machine, fated to wander the secret rooms and tunnels of the Tube network for eternity, as measured in the sand timer he keeps in place of a face.

The picture is part of our series: Londonist Underground. We asked readers to draw, paint or photograph an image of subterranean London as part of the celebrations for the Tube's 150th anniversary. We're still looking for further entries. Draw secret tunnels under Fitzrovia, imagine the mysterious creatures who inhabit London's hypogeal realms, or simply take a photograph of something unusual or impressive in your local Tube station. Fact or fiction, be as imaginative as you like.

We're hoping to arrange an exhibition of the best images, so get thinking and doodling. Send entries to

Previously in Londonist Underground

Last Updated 07 January 2013


Thing with Inspector Sands is, why doesn't he just spend his day in the Operations Room? He's NEVER there yet that's where he's ALWAYS wanted.

I should run the tube.

Andrew Keogh

Inspector Sands is in fact an evil alien invader sent to spread ritual humiliation around the railway network to add to its other irritations ...

Neil Paterson

Could he be the next Dr Who?